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Full text of "The unheard witness : reminiscences gathered on visits to his home in Bronxville, New York"

NEVINS MEMORIAL LIBRARY 



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Andrew "Angy" Ellison - The Unheard Witness 

Reminiscences gathered on visits to his home 
in Bronxville, New York 



December 29, 1979 - Saturday 
March 15, 1980 - Saturday 
July 7, 1980 - Monday 
January 31, 198l - Saturday 
January 2, 1982 - Saturday 
July 7, 1983 - Thursday 
May 11, 1985 - Saturday 
June 6, 1987 - Saturday 



1:00 p.m. to 9:k5 P.m, 

2:00 p.m. to 10:15 p.m, 

lj.:30 p.m. to 11H5 p.m, 

10:15 a.m. to i+ :l5 p.m. 

12:00 p.m. to 5:20 p.m, 

10:30 a.m. to 1^:30 p.m. 

12:30 p.m. to 5:l5 p.m. 

11:05 a.m. to 3:55 p.m. 



As told to his friend, Robert DeLage 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/unheardwitnessreOOelli 




Angelo ( Angy ) Ellison - 19 Years Old - 191^ 



Stanton Harcourt 
photos taken by 
Angy Ellison 



The Castle 
1915 




And in 1916 
with Angy's Flagpole 
on the Tower 




The Meadow Pond 
Bridge 
at the Farm 




Pine Lodge 
photos taken by 
Angy Ellison 



The 1915 wing 
as it adjoins 
the old house 



A portion of 
Appleside 

and 

the Nepoleonic 
Gates 






\ ■■ 




, 


■ 1 


J 1 






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The Overpass 
crossing former 
East Street 





Dr. John C. Bowker's photos of Pine Lodge - June, 1918 




Mr. Searles 



The Murray Hill Hotel 
circa 1915 



Murray Hill Hotel Lobby 



The Hotel Entrance circa 1920 

in the background 

Grand Central Station 




The photo of Angy 

that Mr. Searles 

placed in his room 




Angy and Mr. Searle; 
in New York 

November, 1917 




The photo that Mr. Searles 

had taken in New York 

on October 10, 1917 

for Angy 





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"E f F. Searles presented at 

the Court of St. James 

London, England" 

Given to Angy by Mr. Searles 



Angy Ellison's handwriting 
appears on both photos 




> 





h^hIhTi] nVrlrJ/ ' — *^ 


- ; ^i^i^ 




Top Photo: Angy Ellison's Pine Lodge Albums 



Bottom Photo: A View of Methuen circa 1899 
in one of the Albums 
On the left - Pine Lodge 
On the right - The Washington Monument 
still in its temporary housing 




The picture, from Pine Lodge, that Angy kept and treasured 




Angy Ellison, center, in New York State - circa 1930 



Andy Ellison 



On the right 
his wife Virginia 



On the left 
Corinne DeLage 

July 7th, 1983 



Top shelf 
The Chinese Vases 



Bottom Shelf 
The Carriage Clock 



Detail of Vases 




The Blue Vases 

and 
Carriage Clock 
given to Angy 
by E. P. Searles 
at Pine Lodge 
in 1915 




Mount Hope Cemetery 
Hastings-on-Hudson 
New York 



Ellison Monument 

visible between 

the two evergreens 

in the foreground 




- 1 - 

Andrew "Angy" Ellison - The Unheard Witness 
The Beginning and The Great Estates 

My name was Angelo, and my family name was Eliopoulos. 
After I came to America I wanted to become part of this country, 
so I changed my name to Ellison, because I was told that that was 
the American version. "Eli" comes from the Greek word for the 
sun god, "Helios", and "opoulos" means "the son of"; son of the 
sun! I changed my name to Andrew after the will trial because 
reporters were trying to take advantage of me, and I was so 
disappointed in the way it ended that I didn't want to be bothered 
anymore. I just wanted to get on with my life. 

Before I met Mr. Searles I was working at the Biltmore Hotel. 
It was across the street from Grand Central Terminal. That hotel, 
and the other one they built on the other side of Grand Central, 
the Commodore Hotel, all belonged to the New York Central Railroad. 
All that was built about the same time and was new when I worked 
there. It was like a city underneath the station; there were all 
kinds of shops there, and you could enter the hotel from a passage 
under the station. I started as a bellboy, and they advanced me to 
operate the elevators. The manager told me that I would have a good 
future there; working for the organization. He was going to give 
me a better job but I left to work for Mr. Searles; but it wasn't 
like work at all. He got to know me and asked if I wanted to work 
for him as his assistant; to help him when he went on his business 
trips, or just around town. We would go walking all over town; he 
liked to look at the buildings and talk about the architecture. 
He would like to go to the opera, or to the theater; never a movie J 



- 2 - 

We would have dinner at one of the big restaurants, or at a big 
hotel; The Plaza, or to the old Waldorf-Astoria on Fifth Avenue, 
or someplace else. He would stop at Tiffany's, and that is where 
he bought me a gold watch, and later a beautiful ring with a green 
stone in iti I was with him for six years, and I inherited $10,000, 
through his will, but that was not much when you consider others 
received millions of dollars, and I believe that he liked me the 
most. Maybe it was for the best because I'm all right; I have 
good health, and I watched them put a man on the mooni Maybe if I 
had gotten some of those millions of dollars I might have become an 
alcoholic, or a drug addict. Maybe I would have gone crazy over 
all that money and killed myself J Arthur Walker only lived a few 
months after the trial ended; they told me that he had a stroke 
in front of the big fireplace in the castle in New Hampshire] 
All his money went to his sisters in Canada. They were all older 
than he was; and to a niece and nephew. So, thank God that I'm 
still alive J 

I started to work for Mr. Searles in 1915, and Stanton 
Harcourt was the first place he brought me. We came to Methuen, 
Mr. Searles and I, and we stayed at the Red Tavern. We didn't go 
to Pine Lodge because it was too late, and he didn't want to 
bother Miss Littlefield. There were no rooms for guests at 
Pine Lodge, there were only two bedrooms; the rest was his museum. 
Carrie Barnes was the manager at the Red Tavern. She ran the 
place for him, and he sent her a telegram to let her know we 
would be arriving on a late train and to get rooms ready for us. 
The next day she fixed breakfast for us, and after that we went 



up to see the castle. At that time people were working inside; 
they still had some woodwork to fix, and the kitchen was not 
finished yet. Everything there he had made in Boston; Vaughan 
was his architect. After the kitchen was finished he brought in 
a nice couple to take care of the place for him. He arranged for 
me to live with the Seavey family. Seavey was in charge of the 
estate. The place in Windham was called "Searles Castle", or 
"Searles Polly". I always called it "the castle" myself. We had 
over two thousand acres there, and at Stillwater we had about a 
thousand acres] We had our own sheep, and cows, hogs, chickens, 
and horses:; everything we used there. I had a room in the farm 
house; that was on the road before you go up the hill to the castle. 
Seavey' s wife would take care of my room and I would have my meals 
there. I became friends with her daughter, Emma Richter. She was 
Seavey 1 s step-daughter, and her husband worked there on the farm. 
Emma liked me, and she named her daughter after me; "Angie". I'm 
the girl's godfather. 1 Whenever I was up there, in Windham, 
Mr. Searles would come to visit every day to watch them finish the 
work inside. Later, when the rooms in the castle were ready, he 
would sometimes stay overnight and go back to Pine Lodge in the 
morning, but he would come up again later in the day, to see me. 
Most of the time though he would go back to Pine Lodge for the 
night. My room in the castle was on the second floor overlooking 
the lakes; the old gentleman had his room upstairs. 

One of the towers of the castle was unfinished and I had my 
workshop there. I asked Mr. Searles if I could have a flagpole 
made for that tower, and he wanted to know why. I said that every 
English castle had a flagpole on the tower, so I put one up there! 



I had a crew move a small house from Rockingham Park up to the 
estate. Mr. Searles owned land at Rockingham Park at that time, 
so he had the house moved to Windham and I had my shop in there. 
He bought me a boat to use on Ganobie Lake. The motor that came 
with it was not that good so I asked Mr. Searles if he could get 
me a better one. I heard him tell Arthur Walker to order one. 
When it came I went all over the lake in that boat; I had a lot 
of fun there, and I learned to skate on Canobie Lake. In the winter 
they used to cut ice on the lakes for the icehouse on the estate. 
I remember the blocks were fourteen inches thickj We put them in 
the icehouse, and covered them with some kind of straw, to keep it 
cool; the icehouse was in the shade anyways. In the summer we used 
the ice up at the castle, and on the farm. We had dogs there; I had 
three dogs myself! Mr. Searles had a dog named "Junior", that 
would follow him around Pine Lodge without a leash. 

I first learned to drive in 1915, up in Windham. Mr. Searles 
had two Studebaker trucks, and I was shown how to drive; up and 
down the hill. After I learned the old gentleman bought a 
Studebaker car for me to use; and later his chauffeur gave me a few 
lessons on the big Pierce-Arrow. When we came back from trips to 
New York the driver would meet us in Boston, at the train, and 
take us to Methuen. I was with Mr. Searles, and the driver, when 
they went down to the Boston showroom to buy another one; in those 
days Pierce-Arrows were the best cars made in America, those and 
Packards. The big Pierce-Arrow was a limousine, with a glass 
between the driver and the passengers; you could slide the glass 
to talk with the driver. The newer one he bought that day was 
a passenger car. He would use that car sometimes, but he never 



drove himself; he had his chauffeur. I think he bought that 
smaller car for me because it was the one that I used in Methuen. 
One day I asked him if I could use it to go visit a friend in 
Lewiston, Maine, and he said it was all right. On the way I had 
an accident. In those days they had big water wagons to use on 
the roads to keep the dust down, and I hit one and damaged the 
fender on the car. There weren't any body shops back then, so 
I went to a blacksmith and he did a good job repairing it. When 
I got back to Methuen I spoke with Mr. Searles about the accident, 
and the only thing he was interested to know about was if I had 
been hurt] All he asked me was, "Are you hurt? No? All right, 
don't worry about it, as long as you were not hurt." That was the 
way he was. He didn't care about the car or the money, as long as 
I was all right] 

Well, Stanton Harcourt was a big place; about two thousand 
acres. Mr. Searles really loved that castle there; he built it 
to give himself something to do, but his real home was at Pine 
Lodge. Up at the castle he would take his stick and use it to 
show the men how he wanted things done. He always carried a cane. 
In those days all the gentlemen had walking sticks, and when he 
wanted something done he would make a plan with his cane, right on 
the ground, and draw just what he wanted. He would say, "You make 
it like this, here; and do it like that, over there] " He never 
made the whole design at one time. When the men were finished he 
would come back and look at it and say it was all right, and make 
another plan so they could continue. Sometimes it wasn't the way 
he thought it would look, or he would think of something better, 
and he would tell them to take it down and rebuild it a different 



way. If he was having a wall built and there was a tree in the way 
he would have the wall built around the tree. 1 He loved beautiful 
trees! I remember meeting his architect up there, Vaughan; he was 
a very nice man. He and the old gentleman got along well because 
both of them were designers, and understood each other. It was 
Mr. Searles, though, who planned the walls, and changes to the 
other houses that he owned. We used to walk all around his 
properties in Methuen, and New Hampshire. He enjoyed looking at 
everything he made; he loved to do that. Mr. Searles never really 
finished anything he did; he was always changing or adding something. 
At the castle there was one part that was just a Bhell. He was 
going to put a big room there for the organ from Barrington. He was 
teaching me how to play on the organ at Pine Lodge, and I think that 
was why, because he told me that the castle would be mine someday. 
Pine Lodge was never finished either. When I was with him he was 
talking to an architect in New York, about something for Pine Lodge; 
that was later, after his architect Vaughan had died. I met Vaughan 
a few times. He was an Englishman, and Mr. Searles loved everything 
English. The furniture for the castle in New Hampshire came from 
Barrington and Pine Lodge; they were moving it inside when I was 
living up there. The old gentleman brought a fireplace from Prance 
and had it put in the castle; another fireplace came from Europe 
and he had the whole thing rebuilt and put in Pine Lodge. Mi?. Searles 
loved the castle, but he loved Pine Lodge most of all because he was 
born there; right there in the old house. It was really his home. 

Pine Lodge was full of every kind of treasure you can think of; 
statues, paintings, and all kinds of beautiful things that came from 



- 7 - 

Europe and Asia. He had grandfather clocks in the house too. 
He loved the chimes; you could hear them all over the house. 
You know, he had some experts come in and they made an inventory 
of everything in Pine Lodge; each little vase was described. It 
told where it came from, and the history of it; everything about 
it J All that history was published in a book; I wonder if anyone 
has a copy of that book now? That tells me that he had thoughts 
to make the place into a museum. I told him once that Pine Lodge 
would make a nice museum to him and his wife, and he said that 
someday the place would become a museum of some kind; he wanted 
the whole place kept as he had it. 

Mr. Searles had his own bedroom in the house there, and 
Miss Littlefield had another; all the rest was for his art 
collection. After I started to work for him he arranged for me 
to have a room in the house also; everyone else, like Art Brown, 
the butler, lived in other houses on the property. When Arthur 
Walker, or other men from his businesses came, they stayed at 
the Red Tavern; that was his guest house. When Mr. Searles was 
in Methuen people were always coming to see him on business. 
There was a little office there, at Pine Lodge, near the house, 
where he would meet those businessmen; Walker worked in there too, 
when he came to town. Mr. Searles and Miss Littlefield had an 
office in Pine Lodge, that he used for his personal business. 
Edith Littlefield was his cousin and she ran the house for him 
because he was always going away on business, or traveling; he 
loved to travel I She had a big checkbook and paid all the bills, 
and took care of all his correspondence for him. Some people 



8 



would write to say that they knew of someone who needed help; 
lots of people asked for some kind of help. Miss Littlefield 
would always reply that they would receive an answer when 
Mr. Searles returned to town. That would give him time to check 
if a request was from someone really in need. He owned all kinds 
of property there, all kinds of houses. One day, when I was at 
Pine Lodge, a man came to tell him that someone could not pay 
their rent, and Mr. Searles said to forget about it J Many times 
he didn't make any money on his properties. He told me, himself, 
that he didn't make enough to pay the taxes on some of his 
property] He didn't care; he did that to help out people. 
Mr. Searles was always doing- things like that. He built all kinds 
of churches, all over. In New Hampshire a church burnt down and I 
was told that he built one to take its place. I remember him 
speaking to Miss Littlefield and telling her to make sure that 
everybody who worked for him was paid all year long. He made sure 
that they were paid every week, or every month. He had a crew of 
carpenters, and a crew of stonemasons, and kept them on the payroll 
even if the weather was bad and they couldn't work for a few days, 
or a few weeks J He always had men out building walls, or a new 
addition somewhere. He had lots of men out cutting trees, to clear 
land and have enough wood for all the fireplaces at Pine Lodge, 
and Stillwater, and the castle in Windham. He would give the 
extra firewood away to people who couldn't afford to heat their 
houses. Lots of poor people were helped out like that, and only 
he and Miss Littlefield knew of itj In those days you were either 
rich or poor; you didn't have the big middle class like you have 
today. I remember Miss Littlefield well. I would go into her 



- 9 - 

office to talk with her; I would kid with her, and make her 
laugh. She had a sense of humor, and Mr. Searles had a sense 
of humor too J People didn't think so, but his friends who . knew 
him well knew that] Dr. Bowker, from Lawrence, was a good friend 
of his, and he was always coming to Pine Lodge for a visit. The 
old gentleman had lots of close friends; not like what was said 
in the newspapers; that he didn't bother with anybody. If 
anybody said that they really didn't know him at all. He wasn't 
in "The Pour Hundred"; he didn't want to be a part of "Society". 
He just wanted to have his treasures around him, and his friends. 
I only remember one party he had at Pine Lodge during the time I 
was with him. Major General Edwards was there, and Governor 
Calvin Coolidge was also there, for dinner. Mr. Searles didn't 
care for big parties; he usually wanted plain food. If he had 
company like that he would hire a special cook just for that 
dinner. He ate plain food, and he liked plain people tooi 
Breakfast was the big meal of the day for us; he would say that 
what you eat for breakfast would carry you through most of the day. 
We would always have some orange juice, then some hot cereal. 
After that we had something like baked beans and brown bread, 
then finish with deep-dish apple pie and whipped creami For dinner 
we didn't eat much at all; a light lunch. And for supper we would 
have something light; some cold cuts and tea. He believed that you 
should sleep on a light stomach. When I lived in Windham I would 
stay at the farm house with the Seaveys. They always had big 
breakfasts there; I would eat five eggsj And when Mr. Searles 
Major General Clarence R. Edwards 



- 10 - 

went on a trip we would always have those big breakfasts too; 
ham and eggs, and everything! Do you know what I miss most about 
New England? Those Boston baked beans J The way they made them 
in a special pot; they would bake all night. That was the way 
they made them in those days. I'll never forget the way they 
taste; so goodj I still like them, I prefer "B & M" the besti 

At Pine Lodge he had special people come in to care for all 
his art treasures; to clean those paintings, and the organs. 
I remember there was a man coming from Springfield to take care 
of the organs. You couldn't just hire a cleaning girl to take care 
of those treasures. The big organ he had at that hall in Methuen 
was one of the best organs in the world] I remember a man coming 
from Germany to play it; Mr. Searles brought him over at his own 
expense just to have the chance to play it J People would come 
from all over the world to hear it] I don't remember him playing 
that one himself, but he played the organs in Pine Lodge for me. 
He was teaching me how to play on the organ in Pine Lodge. He 
sat next to me on the seat, and told me how to play>i and what to 
do. He could play very well. You know, he taught me to appreciate 
those things; the art and the organ music. After he died, and I 
was still in New York, I would go down to hear the organ concerts 
at the big Paramount theater. I still like that today; I can 
still appreciate good art, and music I 

We had three organs at Pine Lodge; he liked the organ much 
better than he liked playing the piano. He had an organ factory 
there in Methuen that was once an old mill building. He owned 



- 11 - 

all kinds of property; I think he even owned some mills there, 
in Methuen. Mr. Searles wanted to control all that land around 
his estate, because he wanted to keep it looking nice. 

When the old gentleman was in Methuen, and didn't need me, 
I was free to go anywhere I wanted. I made friends with some 
Greek fellows who worked in Lawrence, and in the shoe factories 
in Lowell. Do you know that at that time America made more shoes 
than any other country, and they sold those shoes all over the 
world J There were shoe factories in Lawrence, in Lowell, Haverhill, 
and in Manchester, New Hampshire; now they are all closed. When I 
was living in Greece those American shoes were the ones we wanted; 
when we had a pair we were happyi They would sell them all over 
Europe, and Asia Minor. 



- 12 - 

In New York and In Uniform 

After I began to work for Mr. Searles he rented a suite at 
the Murray Hill Hotel, on Park Avenue. It was an old-fashioned 
hotel, and he liked it because it was just one block from Grand 
Central Terminal. It was a family hotel, and we had an apartment 
there. He could take a cab, or the subway to his office down 
on Broadway, near Wall Street. Arthur Walker ran the office for 
him. Mr. Searles would meet there with businessmen who came to see 
him about his properties. Most businessmen smoked cigars in those 
days; the old gentleman never smoked! They would come into his 
office and there would be no ashtray, and they would ask if it was 
all right to smoke. Mr. Searles would tell them, "Go ahead and 
smoke. I don't mind." He didn't want to make them feel uncomfortabli 
even if it would mean he would have to put up with the smoke. That's 
the way he was! 

He liked to travel and visit his properties. I went on trips 
with him to those railroads and coal fields he owned in Pennsylvania. 
He would always arrange to travel in a private railroad car for 
those trips. He was treated like a dignitary because he owned a 
railroad himself; the Pittsburgh and Shamut. We each had our own 
rooms, and a parlor; half the car in those daysi On those business 
trips he would always call me "his boy"! He would introduce me to 
those officials, who ran his railroad and coal fields, with, "I want 
you to meet my boy, Angy." After I was introduced I would go off 
to the side, so I wouldn't interrupt their business, but I could 
hear him speak about me like I was his son! One time we stayed 
in Philadelphia, and he was going to see the Rowlands. I asked him 



- 13 - 

who they were, and he told me they were cousins; he said, "I try 
to help them." One time he took me to see the castle he owned 
in ( Great ) Barrington. I was only there once with him, but 
I knew that he went there himself, from time to time. We stayed 
there, in the castle. There Was furniture in it; it wasn't empty 
like what was said. I don't remember too much about it, but it 
was a big place] He told me he had it built for his wife. Setae 
of the furniture in Pine Lodge, and the castle in Windham, came 
from there. 

While in New York we would go all over town. It was on one of 
those walks that he told me he was buying a place out in the country, 
in upstate New York, for Arthur Walker; as a place for him to retire. 
One day the old gentleman and I were in front of one of his buildings 
and I said that maybe I could have an office in iti He said, "Don't 
bother with that building; I'm getting rid of it J It's too old- 
fashioned, not up to date at all; besides, you're going to have a 
lot of buildings some day'" At that time New York was his legal 
residence, but at some time in the future he planned to make 
Massachusetts his legal residence again. He said he was selling off 
his New York property. It was at that time that he told me that I 
would have the castle in Windham someday. I was surprised, and asked 
him how I would be able to afford it. He told me that I would also 
be getting enough money to keep it upi I knew he was telling me the 
truth because I felt that he would do anything for me J He used to 
give me spending money, and he bought me a gold watch at Tiffany's. 
Another time we stopped there and he bought me a gold ring, with a 
big green stone in it, for a thousand dollars; he picked it out 



- Ik - 

for me I In those days it wasn't the gold that made it that 
expensive; it was the value of the stone. Later on in my life 
I was working under a car trying to fix it and I slipped and hit 
the ring on something and the stone fell out. I picked it up 
and the stone was all right but the ring was bent. I put the 
stone, and the ring, in an envelope until I could get it fixed, 
but I mislaid it and it was lost; both the stone and the ringi 
Another time he bought me a Graphlex camera; it was a beauty! 
Real expensive] It cost three hundred dollars then; it was about 
the best camera you could buy. I took a lot of pictures in 
New York, and at Pine Lodge, and the castle in New Hampshire, and 
I only have a few left now. I moved a few times in my life and 
lost most of them; and some I gave away. Mr. Searles would have 
me go to his tailor, and all my clothes were made special for me. 
On Sundays, in New York, we always went to the Cathedral of Saint 
John the Divine. Mr. Searles gave money for some of the work 
there because his architect, Henry Vaughan, designed a few of the 
chapels. Inside you see those lanterns; he spoke about them. 
They are beautiful and I think he gave those to the Cathedral. 
He built many churches, and he gave money for the National 
Cathedral; the Bethlehem Chapel there. We went to Washington 
to see it, he and I, and they were building it at that time. 
His architect, Henry Vaughan, designed it, and after Vaughan 
died he was buried there; right at the Cathedral. 



In 1917 I went into the Army; I wasn't drafted, I enlisted, 
•wards, I realized that Mr. Searles was 
Note: Henry Vaughan died June 30th, 1917. 



Afterwards, I realized that Mr. Searles was pulling strings for me 



- 15 - 

behind the scenes, to keep me from going to Europe. All my pals 
went over but the old gentleman had me transferred from camp in 
Allentown, Pennsylvania, to New Jersey so he could see me more 
often. When my pals went over to Europe, and I stayed behind, 
I cried like a baby. I was in the Army for two and a half years. 
During the winter I was at Allentown, where there was a training 
camp for the ambulance corps. I knew how to drive; it wasn't 
everybody who could drive at that time. Some of those boys had 
never been in a car before, let alone drive one! They had me 
teach the men how to drive ambulances and trucks. All the while 
I was in camp at Allentown Mr. Searles used to come out to visit me 
every week. He gave me spending money so I could eat out anytime, 
because the Army food was poor; just beans and sometimes beef stew. 
Later, when I was stationed in New Jersey, I really ate goodi 
I don't think I ate the regular Army food more than twenty times 
in alii That's what I was doing when a truck backed into my arm 
and broke it. I couldn't drive anymore, then, because you had to 
use the clutch and a big floor shift. So, I was transferred to 
Hoboken, New Jersey, where I was a dispatcher. It was right across 
from New York City, and when I was not on duty I could go into the 
City and stay at the Murray Hill apartment. I'm sure Mr. Searles 
used his influence to get me transferred there. When my arm was 
better I was assigned as driver for a General Shanks; later they 
named a camp for him. Gamp Shanks, up in New York, He was a rough 
guy; he wanted me to run down the people in the streets! People 
would be walking and I would have to just about crawl. He said, 
"What are you doing? You're crawling.' Get going; they'll get out 
of the way!" Well, I spoke to my officer there; he was a nice guy 



- 16 - 

and he told me that he would get me another duty. So I became 
the driver for a Navy captain who planned ship movements from 
New York harbor; it was a security operation. They would load 
ships and then they would sit two, three, or four days before 
sailing. Only he knew when they would sail; and I knew too 
because I was stationed in his office. I would drive him out 
to Staten Island, or Long Island; all over] I remember he would 
have me take him to a house, somewhere in Brooklyn, and tell me 
to go and have some coffee and pick him up later, or the next 
morning at five o'clock! I was still driving for him when the 
war ended in 1918. It was almost the middle of 1919 and I was 
still assigned, and the old gentleman was as mad as the devil J 
He wanted me out! I think he went to his friend, Major General 
Edwards, to get me out, and he did] 



- 17 - 

Travels and Mr. Searles' Passing 
Mr. Searles loved to travel and had been planning a trip 
to Europe; to go after the war was finished. But I was released 
too late, in 1919, so we went across Canada to Vancouver, instead, 
that year. We went up to Lake Louise, in Alberta, and we didn't 
stay in the big hotel, but in one of the cottages on the lake. 
While we were there the manager found out who he was, and that he 
owned a railroad. Those big hotels in Canada were owned by the 
Canadian Pacific Railroad, so they treated him like the owner of 
a railroad would be treated! I wanted to hire a couple of horses 
and go riding with him, up the mountain. He laughed, and told me 
to go and enjoy myself. So, I went alone; all the way upi You 
reach a point where you would put the horses, and then you would 
walk up the rest of the way; five hundred feet further up. 1 There 
was a tea house up there and, if you wanted, they would let you 
carve your name in the wood. There were names there from all over 
the world, and I carved ray name there J While we were at Lake Louise 
I had a toothache; a bad one J The closest dentist was at Banff, 
about forty miles away. So Mr. Searles arranged for us to go down 
by train; it was all arranged for us in advance. After we left 
Lake Louise we went on to Vancouver, then to Seattle, and then to 
San Francisco, where we stayed at a big hotel on Nob Hilli After 
that we xtfent to Chicago, then to Buffalo, where we had to spend a 
few days because I was sick. He arranged for me to see a specialist 
there. We went all over. When we returned to Methuen Pine Lodge 
wasn't ready, so we stayed at the Red Tavern. We used to stay 
there, sometimes, after a trip. I stayed there, or stopped in 



- 18 - 

for lunch a few times myself, when I was working for Mr. Searles. 
I knew the manager, Mrs. Barnes, very well] When we were back at 
Pine Lodge I was talking, one day, to Arthur Brown's daughter. He 
was a kind of butler there, and helped Miss Littlefield run the 
place. His daughter was a nice girl; pretty, but kind of pudgy. 
We were just walking on the grounds, shooting the breeze, and the 
old gentleman must have seen us because he spoke to me about it 
that same day. He said, "Don't get serious with her. I want you 
to marry a princess, not just any girl J" He thought I was something 
special. I was special to him; he thought of me as his own son. 
Well, later, during the will trial, Art Brown, and others, testified 
for Walker's lawyers. They testified that they didn't know that the 
old gentleman thought of me as special; I was surprisedj Well, when 
we took that trip Mr. Searles was feeling all right, and he was in 
good spirits because he was traveling again. A few weeks later we 
were back in New York, at the Murray Hill apartment, and one night 
he called for me because he couldn't pass urine and was in pain; he 
had a prostate gland condition and had been treated for that before. 
I was scared, so I went down to the desk and asked them to call his 
doctor; Dr. McCarthy. He came in and after he spoke with Mr. Searles 
the doctor started to bleed him. In those days they thought that 
would relieve the pressure, so that he could pass urine. I saw the 
blood and I fainted, and when I fell I hit my head on the radiator] 
When I came to Mr. Searles helped the doctor to get me up, and he 
was telling the doctor to forget about himself, for the moment, and 
take care of me first I That's how he was; but I told them that I 
was all right. He was treated for that, while we were in New York, 



- 19 - 

and afterwards he felt all right again. 

Later that year I received the news that my mother had died 
and that my family there could use my help. Mr. Searles had his 
New York office book passage for me on a steamer, so that I could 
return to Greece. The trip took twenty- three days J I was away 
for about five months because I was arranging to bring my whole 
family over; Mr. Searles gave me enough money to do that, and 
when I was there he sent me another thousand dollars J He was very 
good to me and I wasn't able to thank him enough for what he did 
for me and my family. During the time I was gone he took sick 
again, in New York, and I never knew about it; he didn't want me 
to worry about it J When I returned to New York he was at the 
Murray Hill apartment, and that was when I found he had been sick, 
and Walter ( Glidden ), from Pine Lodge, was taking care of him. 
He hugged me, and cried; he was so happy to see me again] After 
that, when we were back in Methuen, Mr. Searles was talking to me 
and said that since he was going to rest at Pine Lodge until he 
felt well enough to travel again, that I should get an education 
and that he would ask Arthur Walker to find a good school for me. 
I went to a school in New York, but the course was too difficult 
for me to understand; it was a language problem. At the same time 
I was nervous about the old gentleman because I wasn't in contact 
with him. I went to see Walker, I always called him "Arthur", and 
he said I should get away to unwind. He persuaded me that Mr. 
Searles wasn't that bad and that I should take a vacation. So 
I went to the Catskills because I knew someone up there. While I 
was there the old gentleman was dying in Methuen, but I didn't 



- 20 - 

know it J Seavey's step-daughter, Emma, back in New Hampshire, 
was writing to me at the Murray Hill Hotel in New York. That«s 
where she thought I was. She was saying that Mr. Searles was 
dangerously ill and that I should get back to Methuen because he 
would want to see me. Well, I received a telegram from Arthur 
Walker, at where I was staying in the Catskills, because he knew 
where I was. He informed me that the old gentleman had died, and 
to come back to Methuen for the services. I went back to New York 
and while I was waiting for the next train to Boston I walked to 
the hotel to get some things from my room, and that's when I found 
two or three letters from Emma Richter saying, "Angy, where are 
you? Why don't you answer me? Mr. Searles is very sick, and you 
should come back right away!" That was my mistake, going on that 
vacation. If I had been in New Hampshire, at the castle, or in 
New York, I would have heard about it, and would have gone back to 
Methuen in time to see him again. 

When I arrived at Pine Lodge they had Mr. Searles' casket in 
the big hall, and in the hallway, before you go into that hall, 
were the officers from the businesses he owned; the people from 
his railroads and coal mines in Pennsylvania. Those were the 
people I had met when the old gentleman took me on tours of his 
properties. They recognized me coming in and they all stood upj 
I believe that they thought that I was going to be his heir. 1 
I was at Pine Lodge for the funeral, and was there when they read 
the will. He was put in the tomb he built for himself, and for 
his wife and parents; he built four places there. That tomb is 
like a small church, and I was at Pine Lodge when they were 



- 21 - 

building it. When it was finished he was going to move his wife 
and parents, to be there, underneath the chapel. That's why he 
was planning to go to Europe, and to England, with me, to get 
some things for that chapel. And he wanted some special doors; 
metal doors, with plate glass. Something really beautiful and 
special] He didn't want them moved there until it was all 
finished; so he could have a ceremony and dedication. Because 
I was released from the Army so late, in 1919, he said that we 
would go to Europe the following year, for a few months. So, 
instead, we went up to Ganada, and to the west coast. The next 
year he was sick, and he wasn't able to travel; he died that August, 

When they read the will I found that I was to get $10,000. 
I spoke with Arthur Walker, and he said that Mr. Searles never 
told him that I was to get any more than that. He said that he 
would give me money each month until I could find a job. I wasn't 
getting any other information from him, and I was so disappointed 
that I left Pine Lodge and went to New York to stay with a friend. 
Before I left, Miss Littlefield gave me some pictures of myself 
that Mr. Searles had in his own rooms in Methuen. She was a 
wonderful woman; she was good to me there. It was the picture I 
had taken while I was at camp at Allentown, Pennsylvania. I have 
another of it because I also took the one from his room at the 
Murray Hill apartment. There was another one in his room up in 
the castle in New Hampshire, but I left that one in his memory. 
Mr Searles had that photograph of me enlarged from the small one 
that I sent to him. I didn't know that until he told me later. 
He kept my pictures in his rooms all the time, which prooves what 
he thought of me. He always treated me like a son] 



- 22 - 

The Will Trial and Later Years 

After I left Pine Lodge, and went back to New York, I moved 
out of the apartment at the Murray Hill Hotel and went to stay 
with a friend. I didn't know it but a detective hired by Mr. 
Searles' nephew was looking for me. That nephew was an alcoholic; 
he was not a good man. I only found that out laterj His lawyers 
wanted to find me. They must have been talking to people at the 
Murray Hill because they knew that's where Mr. Searles was living. 
I told them that I didn't think Walker was treating me very good; 
that I had letters from Mr. Searles, and that he wrote to me, and 
treated me like a son. I was still speaking to Walker at that time, 
I would visit the office and Walker told me that after a certain 
date I would be on my own. When the nephew's lawyers approached 
me they convinced me that they would have a strong case against 
Walker because they needed me to go against him; so I cooperated 
with them. They told me that they could use my information to 
help them win, and that I would get quite a lot out of it. I made 
a mistake there; I made a few mistakes now that I look back on it. 
Later, I found that they were just using me J The nephew settled 
with Walker for four million dollars, and I didn't get anything 
out of it once they got their money. That's why I went against 
Walker on my own later. When I started that court action it was 
at the advice of other lawyers. They approached me and convinced 
me that Walker would settle with us; like with the case of Mr. 
Searles* nephew. We had one of Mr. Searles* best friends, Dr. 
Bowker, from Lawrence, to come testify in my favor. He knew that 
the old gentleman thought of me as his son. Walker said he never 



- 23 - 

knew of that] Maybe Mr. Searles never told him. I believe now 
that he made a mistake not telling him. Miss Littlefield didn't 
seem to know that either, because she testified that he liked me, 
and helped me out, but that I was his valet. 

Dana Seavey, who ran the farm in Windham, testified for 
Walker's side. Seavey inherited thousands of dollars by Mr. Searles' 
will, and he didn't tell the truth in court; the first thing he said 
wasn't the truth! When his step- daughter, Emma Richter, heard about 
it she told him, "You lied]" Walker* s lawyers tried to discredit 
Mr. Searles; imagine that J They wanted control of his money but 
didn't even care about his memory; and the old gentleman was the 
kindest man you could know. He did so many things for people, and 
he never asked for any publicity about it. 

During the trial Walker's lawyers spoke with the head of the 
jury during a recess. I pointed that out to ray lawyer, Aaron. He 
was soft; he told me not to worry because we had everything we need 
to win the case because the jury was sympathetic to me, but the 
final verdict was against me in favor of Walker. The judge told 
the jury, before they came to their decision, that the letters 
Mr. Searles wrote to me were personal but did not prove that he 
considered me his son, but that I must prove that Walker influenced 
Mr. Searles against me when he made those wills. It was up to me 
to prove fraud, and I couldn't prove it. 

After the trial Arthur Walker came up to me to say that he 
didn't want there to be any hard feelings between us, but I was so 
upset that I didn't want to bother with him. Maybe that was 



- 2k - 

another mistake; maybe I should have had a talk with him. 
I was very upset that they brought in people to say that Mr. 
Searles was not in his right mind J That's what they testified 
in court] But those lawyers contradicted themselves, because 
during the same time that they were saying Mr. Searles was not 
in his right mind, he made out those wills in Walker's favor; 
and when he made out those wills they claimed that he was in 
his right mindi After I saw that the lawyers arranged to have 
the estate go to Walker, I was so disappointed that I wanted to 
get away from there. When Walker approached me after the trial 
he said that he would be willing to have me take a course in 
some school if I wanted. When the old gentleman was alive I had 
gone to a private school, but the course was hard and I couldn't 
understand everything at the time. Maybe I made a mistake by 
not taking Walker's offer; maybe I should have tried something 
else. I often wondered why he approached me like that; maybe his 
conscience was bothering him. He won his case but he didn't live 
to enjoy the money. Just five months after the trial he was up 
at the castle in New Hampshire and he died from a stroke; right 
in front of the big fireplace there. That's where I heard that 
they found him. 

In 1927, after the will trial, I was offered a job at the 
Studebaker dealership in Manhattan. I knew all about that make 
of automobile because we had them up in New Hampshire, and the 
dealer wanted me to learn about selling Studebaker cars. The 
dealerships were owned by the car companies in those days and 
you had to learn about the cars before you could sell them. 



- 25 - 

In those days you had to teach the buyers how to drive, because 
not very many people knew how. I knew because Mr. Searles bought 
me a Studebaker car to drive in Windham; I also knew how to drive 
his new Pierce-Arrow car. That's why that dealer wanted to hire 
me; I could drive all those cars. In 1928 I left that dealership 
because I didn't like the way he did business, and later, I heard 
Studebaker let him go I So, I knew someone in Yonkers who ran a 
theater there, and he asked me to come work for him because his 
boss, who owned fifty theaters in New York, wanted to open another 
in Yonkers. So, I moved up into his little bachelor's apartment. 
He was my best friend, and later, was my son's godfather] We were 
both bachelors in those days. He worked days, and lived on a 
schedule. They wanted someone to work nights, so, I would get up 
when I pleased, and didn't live on a schedule! After about a year 
the Pord agency, here in Yonkers, was looking for someone, so I 
sold cars there; later, I went to work for Chrysler. In 1932 I was 
very sick, with inflamation of the colon, and had to quit work. 
I had a good friend who owned a hotel in Lake George village. 
The doctor told me to go to the country for a rest and get some 
fresh air. I went up to the hotel there and my friend asked me to 
stay and help him run the place; so I did, for a year] Prohibition 
had just ended and I went to Albany to get a license, to open a bar 
at the hotel. I hired a bartender, and bought everything we needed 
to run it; all the glasses and equipment. The bartender taught me 
how to mix drinks, so I could help him out when things got busy. 
I stayed all the winter when business was slow; only a few tourists 
and hunters, but I liked the winter air. I needed only five hours 



- 26 - 

sleep at night because the air was so good for me I I really had 
a good time there; two years later I was married and my free days 
were over.* I went into the car business back in Yonkers, with a 
partner, and later he bought me out for $15,000. I doubled my 
investment, and with that I opened a used car lot here in Yonkers. 
Then, I opened a second one, and later, a third; I had three going 
at once J During the war, when we couldn't get cars to sell, I 
worked for a shipyard; after the war I started with Chevrolet, at 
Yonkers Motors. Later, in 19^-6, I had my own dealership for 
Kaiser-Frazer cars. I was working fourteen to sixteen hours a day 
and it was too much for me, so I sold it off and started working 
for someone I knew who ran a Pontiac dealership. I was the general 
manager of the used car department there, because I had been selling 
used cars for years. Some people would go over my head, to see the 
owner, to get a better deal, but he never went over my head. He 
would tell them, "Andy is giving you the best deal he can; I'm 
afraid I can't do any better." You know, I respected him for that. 
In 195>1 I was offered the position as head of the used car department 
at Allen Chevrolet, on Broadway in New York, on the west side. They 
are gone now, but they were the biggest Chevy dealership in the 
country; they sold three to four thousand cars a yeari The showroom 
was on Broadway, and their garage was over on 10th Avenue. I would 
drive down from Yonkers every morning; a twenty-minute drive into 
the city. They knew me from when I had ray own business, and wanted 
me to work as manager of their used car department because I knew 
everything about that business] 



- 27 - 

Reflexions 

Mr. Searles told me that he wanted to adopt me as his son, 
but his advisers in New York influenced him against it. They 
told him that it would bring him negative publicity if he adopted 
"an immigrant Greek;" that's how they described it. They knew 
that he didn't like publicity, and he would be influenced by that. 
People were jealous of him, and the newspapers were always digging 
for a story, and he knew it. He told me about it later, but said 
that after the war ended he would speak with his lawyers in 
Massachusetts about adopting me, and I knew that he would do 
anything for me. I had enough respect for him not to ask for too 
much; he was always giving me things I I never pressed him on it 
because he told me that he would do it; but later he became sick 
and I didn't want to mention it to him. He expected to recover 
because he was still planning to build at Pine Lodge, and in 
Windham, and he said that he felt that he was going to live for 
many more years J He was sending me to school in New York, to have 
the education that his "son" should have, rbut the course was too 
difficult for me; I had a hard time to understand it. I was 
grateful for what the old gentleman was doing for me; he was always 
introducing me to people as, "I want you to meet my boy, "Angy. " 
I was treated like his heir. I was always at the table with him 
and Miss Littlefield when we were at Pine Lodge. Walker was his 
business secretary and never ate with us. I once dined with 
Governor Calvin Coolidge, and General Edwards, at Pine Lodge. 
Mr. Searles arranged for me to have a bedroom at Pine Lodge; to use 
while I was there. Before that there were only two bedrooms in the 



- 28 - 

house; one for himself, and one for his cousin, Miss Littlef ield. 
One day he put two blue vases on the mantle of the fireplace in 
my bedroom and he said, "You should have something here to decorate 
your room. I want you to have these vases." Another time he gave 
me a carriage clock because he thought I would enjoy the chimes. 
When I packed my things to leave Pine Lodge, after he died, I took 
them with me to remind me of him because I knew that he wanted me 
to have them. I also took a bottle of cologne that he used; all 
you had to do was put on a drop of it, and it would last all day J 
It was so nice. I always tried to find some myself but I don't 
know where he bought it; he must have got it on one of his trips 
to Europe. You know, I still had some not too long ago; I kept 
it and used it only once in a while. I have this picture " that 
was taken by Dr. Bowker; he was a good friend of Mr. Searles. 
It was in the hallway at Pine Lodge. I liked it and Mr. Searles 
told me to take it for my room; later I took it up to my room in 
the castle at Windham. Dr. Bowker took that picture in 1910, or 
1912, and gave it to Mr. Searles. I took the picture with me 
when I left, and also a small album of pictures Dr. Bowker took 
of Pine Lodge. Dr. Bowker was a good friend of Mr. Searles. He 
was an eye doctor in Lawrence; the old gentleman went to him, and 
I went to him myself. He would come to visit at Pine Lodge and 
Mr. Searles would play the organ for him; the old gentleman really 
enjoyed playing for his friends. I also have two albums of pictures 
of Pine Lodge, and Methuen, that were taken by another friend of 
Mr. Searles; those were taken before I knew him. I took those 
albums as a souvenir of the place. And when Miss Littlef ield 

A large, framed, photograph of a sleeping dog, with two kittens. 



- 29 - 

heard that I would be leaving she told me to go into Mr. Searles' 
room and take the photo of myself, in my Army uniform, that he had 
in there. I know that the old gentleman liked Pine Lodge most of 
all because he was born there, and that was where he wanted to be 
put when he passed away; and he wanted his wife and his parents 
there also. The place was too rambling for my taste. After 
Mr. Searles died I was there for the service, and I heard people 
saying that he spent two million dollars on Pine Lodge. I always 
liked the castle in Windham the best; I considered it home because 
Mr. Searles took me there to live after I started working for him. 
In the 19i^0s we went up to Windham to visit people I still knew 
there. We went inside the castle and there wasn't as much furniture 
in it as I remembered. Emma Richter took us inside then. Down in 
Methuen we drove by Pine Lodge and looked at the walls; that was 
all J I married in 1935* and my son Peter was born in 19^ 2 > and m y 
daughter in 19^. My daughter married a man from Ipswich, Mass. 
They live on Long Island, in Queens. My son is a bachelor and 
lives in New Fairfield, Connecticut, on Gandlewood Lake. In my 
younger days I would drive to New England, to Narragansett , Rhode 
Island, just to visit and have clam chowder; it was delicious! 
You couldn't beat the way they made it there. 1 That's why people 
say that I'm from New England; because I spoke about it so much! 

Fremmer came here to talk to me, and ask me to help him with 
his book. Well, Premmer was small; very polite. He was a nice 
young man, so I wanted to help him. But he never published his 
book, and you say he lives in Jamaica nowj I have a copy of his 
story, and I see where he went to the courthouse to see the 



- 30 - 

transcript of the trial, because he included the contents of the 
letters that Mr. Searles wrote to me. I gave those letters to 
my lawyers and they held them in their records; after the trial 
they never sent them back to me like I asked them to, and they 
lost track of them. I let it go at the time, but I wish I had 
gone back to ask for them again because they were the only personal 
letters he wrote to anyone, outside of Miss Littlefield. At Pine 
Lodge she did all the correspondence for him; he never wrote to 
anyone else J Those letters he wrote to me were copied into the 
transcript of the trial in the courthouse; they became public 
record and Premmer must have copied that part of the transcript. 
That was over thirty years ago that he came here, and those court 
records are all discarded by now. 

When Premmer came to see me we were living on Brewster Avenue. 
We had that apartment for thirty-one years; from 19^6 to 1977. 
We paid $23,500. for this apartment in 1977; today ( 1985 ) it's 
worth $75,000. At first we paid $25>0 . a month for the upkeep fee; 
now it's $350. We get heat and electricity included, so that's 
still good considering the area. I'm still working; I keep the 
books for the Broadway Inn Restaurant, and more recently for a 
new restaurant that opened on Central Park Avenue. I go each 
Monday to make the payroll. I know all the people who own every 
restaurant in the area. I used to be the head of the local 
business organization, and I've known every mayor since I came 
here fifty years agoi Lately I was in the hospital for sixty 
days, and my arm was in a cast for eighty- four days. I've only 
been out twice since I've been home; once, in an ambulance to 



- 31 - 

the doctor, and the other time on my own. I can't go gallivanting 
around anymore] While I was in the hospital they treated me for a 
prostate problem. You know, when you get old those things happen 
to you] That doesn't matter to me because I'm just happy to be 
feeling better now, and I can use my hand a little more all the 
time. I'm eighty-seven now! ( January, 1982 ) I'm working on 
eighty-eight this year, and have to wait until December thirty- 
first to reach eighty-eight. By the old calendar I was born on 
December eighteenth, but by the European and American calendars 
it was New Year's Eve; December thirty-first. My mother told me 
that I was born on the thirty-first because she could hear the 
people, the Europeans who lived in town, blowing horns in the 
street when I was born. That's what she said. I can't complain; 
I'm eighty-seven now and I've outlived all my friends. My best 
friend, who was my son's godfather, died of a heart attack a while 
ago; another old friend of mine just died also, and I still feel 
good] Some days I feel just like a kid again] People ask me 
what I do to be so well at my age, and I tell them it's because 
I always lived against nature] My best friend, who had a heart 
attack, always lived according to a schedule; he ate at the same 
time every day, and slept at the same time every night. Me? I 
never lived on a schedule when I was a bachelor, and I would get 
up anytime I felt like it, and ate anything I had; maybe just a 
sandwich and a cup of coffee, and I might not eat again for 
twelve hours! Now, the doctors tell you to live on a schedule 
and you'll live longer, but my friend is gone and I'm still alive] 
If I have a secret for living longer I think it's because I don't 
let anything bother me, or worry me. I took what comes. If I 



- 32 - 

said I was planning a trip, or something, I never worried about 
the weather, or anything else. If I had to change my plans for 
some reason I just put it off for another time. 

Sometimes I think the Good Lord made all this happen, because 
it might have changed my personality if I had some of those million! 
of dollars; it might have turned my head, and I might have gone 
crazy or something. Just five months after Walker got his money 
he was in front of the fireplace in Windham and he had a stroke, 
or a heart attack] All that fortune went to his family in Canada. 
Me? Well, I watched them put a man on the moon, and saw all that 
space exploration. You know, I belong to a business organization 
here; I was the secretary and manager there for a long time. Two 
years ago they had a function, and they stood up and honored me; 
applauded me for being a leader in our community. That was worth 
more to me than any money anyone could give me J 
Intercity Associates, Inc. 

Epilogue 

Andrew M. Ellison passed away on Wednesday, January 6, 1988, 

in his ninety- third year. Burial took place at Mount Hope 
Cemetery, Hastings-On-Hudson, Westchester County, New York. 
On the wall of Andrew Ellison's room, in his Bronxville home, 

were two framed photographs. One, was the actual photo 
of •Angy' in his Army uniform, that Mr. Searles had enlarged 
for his own room at Pine Lodge. The other was the photo 
of Mr. Searles that he had taken for 'Angy', 
who kept and treasured them all his life. 







CZ^^a n • Ltsu+J^ 



ANDREW M. ELLISON 

1 GEORGIA AVE. 
BRONXVILLE, NY 
10708 



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